The 2022 NFL Draft has officially kicked off, and the Las Vegas Raiders have made their first selection. As the seven rounds progress and the team makes all of their picks, we will provide a live draft grade and analysis for each of the Raiders’ selections. How do these new prospects fit with the roster, what kind of impact will they have on the team, and what do the team’s needs look like now that the draft is complete?
Make sure to continue to check back as the 2022 NFL Draft continues for live Las Vegas Raiders draft grades and analysis.
Las Vegas Raiders grades for 2022 NFL Draft
What are the Raiders‘ grades for their selections in the 2022 NFL Draft as they look to address their main needs this offseason?
Round 3, Pick 90: Dylan Parham, OL, Memphis
With the 90th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Las Vegas Raiders have selected Memphis offensive lineman Dylan Parham. Parham is an intriguing pick at this point, but he serves a definite purpose for the Raiders and could go on to recoup this value.
Parham is an incredibly versatile player. He logged tackle and guard reps in college with the Tigers and also took center reps at the Senior Bowl. In Las Vegas, he’ll likely file in at guard alongside Andre James and Kolton Miller. He’s an extremely dense, compact blocker with great core strength and leverage. His easy short-area athleticism allows him to suffocate defenders in a phone booth.
Round 4, Pick 122: Zamir White, RB, Georgia
With the announcement during draft weekend that the Las Vegas Raiders wouldn’t be taking up the fifth-year option on a number of players, most notably running back Josh Jacobs, the Raiders taking a running back shouldn’t come as a shock. But with several other higher-ranked running backs on the board, taking Zamir White is a surprise.
However, this isn’t the first surprise that’s involved the Georgia running back this draft cycle. White was an unexpected standout at the NFL Combine, with a speed that isn’t always apparent on his tape. He’s been a productive rusher for the Bulldogs, with a decisive running style that gets north and south in the shortest possible time.
Round 4, Pick 126: Neil Farrell Jr., DT, LSU
In a class lacking a plethora of top-level defensive tackles, the Las Vegas Raiders address a position of need with LSU’s Neil Farrell Jr. At 6’4” and 330 pounds, Farrell is a stout lineman with excellent upper body strength. He also possesses decent (if not elite) length and has some good flexibility. The two combine to make it difficult for offensive linemen to get hands on him. However, he’s not particularly explosive and has limited pass-rush upside. As the 218th overall prospect on the PFN Top 300 Consensus Big Board, this is a reach for the Raiders.
Round 5, Pick 175: Matthew Butler, DT, Tennessee
The Raiders have invested quite a few resources into their defensive line this offseason. They added Bilal Nichols, an underrated defensive lineman, in free agency. Subsequently, they added nose tackle Neil Farrell Jr. earlier on Day 3. Now, in Round 5, they swipe up Tennessee DT Matthew Butler, who could go on to be one of their better picks in this class.
Butler was arguably a top-100 prospect after breaking out in 2021. Butler is one of the most explosive interior linemen in this draft, but he also has violent hands and an all-out motor. He plays a bit too high at times and can be more precise with his hands. But he can be a great pass-rushing 3-technique, and he’s also disruptive against the run.
Round 7, Pick 238: Thayer Munford, OL, Ohio State
Having selected Dylan Parham with their first pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Las Vegas Raiders add even more size to their offensive line in the form of Thayer Munford. He possesses tackle and guard experience, but the interior should prove to be his natural alignment in the NFL.
At 6’6” and 320 pounds, he’s a real-life roadblock with the functional length to be effective both in pass protection and as a run blocker. However, his average athleticism and inability to play with low pad level may limit him to being a pure depth piece going into the NFL.
Round 7, Pick 250: Brittain Brown, RB, UCLA
One-third of the Raiders’ picks in the 2022 NFL Draft were running backs. If that doesn’t speak volumes about Josh Jacobs’ long-term future, I’m not sure what does. UCLA’s Brittain Brown shows flashes of impressive acceleration and isn’t afraid to embrace contact, routinely falling forward to gain extra yardage.
While he has impressive footwork, his success will be largely predicated on the success of the Raiders’ offensive line. Although he has special-teams experience as a kick returner, he offers little in the passing game. There were definitely better options on the board at the position.
What were the Raiders’ biggest needs entering the draft?
- OT, G, DT, LB, S
The Raiders secured their future at wide receiver and quarterback this offseason. They gave Derek Carr a long-term contract and need to protect him. There is a major need at right tackle, and the interior of the line could also benefit from the addition of someone to challenge for a starting role as well as to offer depth.
In the middle of the defensive line, there are some intriguing veteran options, but they could do with some young players who could lead the position in the future. At linebacker, Las Vegas is relying on Jayon Brown to find his old form, and they need to consider adding depth. Meanwhile, the safety position could also benefit from further depth.